Garden Writers Association of America
'2000 - Philadelphia
52nd Annual Symposium 
September 15-19,2000

1pt.gif (86 bytes)I arrived the Friday evening in time to put my bags in the room and hustle down to register...then it was off to see the exhibits and have a long awaited refreshment after a long day of travelling!
1pt.gif (86 bytes)Saturday morning it was up early in time for coffee break sponsored by Canada Blooms before the official welcome from President Judy Lowe and the keynote presentation by Douglas Jimerson of I was supposed to take in the session on photographing your garden, but ran into Douglas Green and spent the entire session time speaking with him. I then took in Enhancing Editor/Author Relations for general interest then it was off on our City Gardens Tour. We had a wonderful lunch on the bus on the way in sponsored by the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation and refreshements by Milorganite.
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1pt.gif (86 bytes)Our first stop was the Village of Arts and Humanities - this began in 1986 as a park building project and engages and benefits over 10,000 children and adults annually. It has transformed over 120 vacant lots into productive use as parks, gardens and a two acre tree farm. It has been recognized locally, nationally and internationally as a model for neighborhood revitalizaion through the arts.
1pt.gif (86 bytes)We were met by some very enthusiastic young adults excited to be showing us through their pride and joy. They toured us through some 12 gardens filled with murals, sculptures and gardens that they all had a part in developing.
1pt.gif (86 bytes)Then we were off on a self guided tour of some of gems in the private garden tour. The gardens were easy to spot because they had volunteers with bright yellow t-shirts set up at each entrance. Buses made loops down two main streets for us as well, so it was easy to get around.
1pt.gif (86 bytes)I also had the opportunity to stop in at the Pennsylvania Hospital Physic Garden. The picture here is of the original hospital built in 1751, founded by Benjamin Franklin and Dr. Thomas Bond. This was the nations first hospital!
1pt.gif (86 bytes)Back to the hotel for a reception in the exhibit hall and then out this evening to Manayunk ... a wonderful tourist destination featuring over 70 boutiques and galleries and over 30 places to eat! It was named a national historic district in 1983. Buses shuttled us through out the evening back and forth from the hotel.
1pt.gif (86 bytes)Sunday up early again for a breakfast and business meeting. I had wanted to take this in because it was my first time going to a GWAA gathering. Blooms of Bressingham & Flower Fields sponsored our breakfast. I had a chance to see the board members and here about what they were planning. This was the largest symposium to date with 625 registered. There were 97 booths and 16 in the Bookfair. There are over 1850 members of the GWAA from all over the world. The next GWAA Symposium will be in Orlando and following that in Seattle.
1pt.gif (86 bytes)Off to sessions...this one with Dr. Alan Stevens speaking on It Starts With The Soil...a wonderful and thoughtful presentation that I will use in my own garden.
1pt.gif (86 bytes)Final Exhibition with break sponsored by All-American Daylily Selection Council then off to hear New Plant Varieties presented by Stephen Still. I managed to take a picture of Brian Minter in between sessions. Brian owns the beautiful Minter Gardens in Chilliwack ...another must see! 
1pt.gif (86 bytes)This afternoon while travelling on our bus to Longwood, Monrovia sponsored lunch in great travelling bags! I transfered from one bus to the other going to Conard Pyle for a tour of the trial beds of roses by Jacques Mouchotte, rose hybridizer and director or research for the world famous Selection Meilland. After sipping on wine and munching on some wonderful nibblies, we set out for the trial beds with pen and paper in hand to rate six of them ourselves!
1pt.gif (86 bytes)There are eight new stars for 2001 - Francois Rabelais 'Meinusian' PPAF, Michelangelo 'Meitelov', Peter Mayle 'Meizincaro', Glowing Peace 'Meizole'- 2001 AARS Winner, Marmalade Skies 'Meimonblan' - 2001 AARS Winner, 'Carefree Sunshine' and Ruby Meidiland 'Meipreston' and Spirea Japonica var. alpina 'Lemondrop' Visit for more information.
1pt.gif (86 bytes)Back on the bus again for the trip back to Longwood... This was my first time to this part of the world and Longwood was a stunner! (more... see pictures and story of Longwood)
1pt.gif (86 bytes)Monday was another early riser with coffee at 7:30 a.m. sponsored by the American Nursery and Landscape Association, then a couple more sessions on Garden Tourism by Barbara Segall and Speaking by Dave Thompson ... both very informative!
1pt.gif (86 bytes)Scott Arboretum was on the agenda today ... when we arrived there Espoma had prepared a wonderful alfresco lunch for us under a big white tent. After stuffing ourselves we set out individually to wander around Swarthmore College where Scott Arboretum is. Swarthmore College is a small, highly selective college of liberal arts and engineering with a student population around 1400. The student/teacher ratio is 8/1. It was founded in 1864 by Quakers although it is non-sectarian.
1pt.gif (86 bytes)The Arboretum was established in 1929 to educate and inspire home gardeners. I was really pleased with the pictures I took here, because the plants were very unusual to me ... and have the names of them all listed if you need them! (more... see pictures of Scott Arboretum)
1pt.gif (86 bytes)After I had finished seeing what I could I set out down the hill to catch our bus that would take us around to see six private gardens in Swarthmore. 
1pt.gif (86 bytes)Back to the hotel just in time to get ready for the Annual Awards Reception sponsored by Spring Hill Nurseries. We enjoyed drinks while going over all of the award winners this year.
1pt.gif (86 bytes)Then into the Grand Ballroom for the Awards Program & Banquet. The banquet was sponsored by Etera, Wine sponsored by Spring Meadow Nursery and the centerpieces sponsored by International Garden Products!
1pt.gif (86 bytes)Judy Lowe gave the welcome and James Baggett from Country Living Gardener introduced the winners of the Q & T Awards. Marco Polo Stufano became an Honorary Member, with Ken Druse and David Tarrant becoming Fellows. The evening was topped off with Benjamin Franklin!

Expo Garden Tours sponsored a Karaoke Party afterwards.

1pt.gif (86 bytes)Tuesday was the day I was leaving, but not before seeing the famous Chanticleer, A Pleasure Garden. This was also the first day of not so nice weather as it was raining, but we gardeners can sure work around that! (more... see pictures of Chaticleer)
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1pt.gif (86 bytes)After this beautiful and restful garden, it was back to the hotel to get ready for the that is another story! but while here at the symposium I grew in knowledge, friendship and of course in gardens...
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Pennsylvania Hospital

  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row